In the Storm (April is National Poetry Month)

In the Storm (#NPM )

Firstly, my condolences to all those affected by Saturday’s hellish tornadoes. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Many of my fondest early memories [as well as imaginative ideas] were born in Houston county among the pine trees and red dirt, particularly a tiny community called Weches.

Some of you may know a few of my characters have roots in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi – that is not happenstance. Those just happen to be a few of my favorite states.

Again, my heart goes out to those suffering loss and I hope you’ll forgive me for choosing this poem for today.

Confession: My afflictions are bitter-sweet.

In the Storm

I reach for you…

With every crack of thunder

I hear you laugh…

Your smile is every bolt of lightning.

The drops of rain, you touching me,

with unsalted tears…

No more pain; no more regret.

I raise my arms,

as a child beckoning to be held

and it pours.

My grief is washed away by

stinging pellets of a spring rain

Leaving behind a clean slate

with only memories of the most mundane,

most cherished moments of my life.

Credits: I created the heading image (Inside the Storm) from a compilation of images I found at Pixabay. (Thank you Pixabay contributors).

The poem, In the Storm was taken from this twisted book of poems. And… guess what?

For a limited time my partnering experiment with Smashwords lets the reader decide what they will pay. Yep! You decide.

Check it out.

A Year in Pictures

A Look Back at 2018

I wasn’t very productive as far as writing [or marketing] goes but I made a few memories and I ain’t mad about that. 😀

Some of the books got a new cover, you can see them here if you’re so inclined, or you can look at a few of my pictures from 2018.

Man that flew by. Oh well…

Hasta la vista 2018, I’ll be back & here’s wishing all of YOU a HaPpY 2019!!

The Sharecropper’s Son Chapter 1 (Friday’s Free-for-All)

Waiting

For hopes that hung on a chicken bones
For hearts that lived in chains
For pods of green that died unknown
While waiting for the rain

For dreams left bare on empty prayer
For souls that wished in vain
For tears unshared in mute despair
While waiting for a change

For you and I and all mankind
For worlds where peace was slain
For faith and mind no man can bind
We wait and wait again

“All eyes were on Wall Street, but truth be told, the market crash paled in comparison to the Navarro County drought.”

Cast of Characters:

Jamison Baines Weir
Liam and Coletta Weir
Jeff and Diane Flint
Bob and Maddie Hallet
D.W. and Bell Crom
Colored Dan
Ronald Gore

theatre masks
Chapter 1

The news of Black Tuesday came and went as little more than dry morsels between flapjacks and red-eyed gravy. Black Thursday was no different. Margin calls and ticker-talk; it was all a foreign language to the average man of Navarro county. New York, Chicago and any place not adjacent to the dying province could have just as well been another country – another planet.
<>Suicides headlined newspapers across the globe. Although desperate men (and women) chose gas or bullets; poison or tablets to avoid poverty the stories of men leaping from windows sold more papers and it seemed to pacify the masses, at least for a while.
<>The headlines went on and on. Tales of a brutal bearish market where stock prices were plummeting and fortunes were being dissolved. The days grew long and the soup lines grew longer as billions of dollars were lost, except for the sparse crowd who knew how to short the market and profit from despair.

<>The caste system was readjusting; the prudent wealthy settled into middle-class; the so called middle-class went back to being poor and the poor resorted to begging or starving. Even the outcasts felt the impact. Amidst all of the chaos and realigning there was one morphological thing that everyone understood; a fact that every race, creed, class and religion agreed upon – the roaring twenties had come to a crashing halt. Literally.

EIGHT MORE TAKE THE PLUNGE.

A somnolent bedraggled man stood in the doorway of Crom’s Cafe and eyed the headline of the Navarro County Herald. He thoughtlessly tapped his hat against his thigh to loosen the grit before tossing a nickel into the box that read COFFEE & TOAST 5¢. There were a dozen nickels alongside his.

<>“Thanks Bell” he grumbled to the portly matron behind the paper as he filed past the register and took a seat in the back of the diner.
Half a dozen men sat scattered about the dimly lit eatery, each one scarcely aware of the others presence. They all sat in the same fashion; silent with their elbows on the table and their heads bowed over crumbs and half empty cups. One man’s groans interrupted the silence, erupting between broken verses of prayer which quickly evaporated without regard.
<>“Here you go Liam.” Bell spoke just above a whisper as she sat the mug and saucer on the table, “If there’s anything left after breakfast I’ll send it home with you.”
<>“Thank you ma’am but that fella over there looks a heap worse than any of us.” he nodded toward the sniveling man, “Looks like he might need any scraps you can spare.”
<>“Tut-tut!” Bell shot a glance at the praying man and shook her head, “Don’t you know who that is? That is Daniel D. Starnes; the same Daniel Starnes who owns the cotton gin over at Mexia; the same scoundrel that cheated fifty men out of their wages. I know he makes a sorrowful spectacle with all that praying but do you know what he’s praying for?” the woman paused long enough to fill her lungs and did not wait for Liam to respond. “The beast! Yep, he is praying that the stock market will recover so he doesn’t lose any more money on his investments. I tell you I am at my wits end with all the moaning and groaning and killing over filthy lucre and that blasted stock market! ” Bell wiped her hands on her apron and marched toward the kitchen speaking so the entire café could hear her, “Money! That is all some folks care about.”
<>Money can’t buy you rain, Liam thought, as he quietly dipped his dry toast into the weak coffee and watched as the diner filled.
<>The usual crowd shuffled in, in their habitual manner. More coffee was poured into waiting mugs, more nickels dropped into the box, a few at the bar ordered a real breakfast and those who could afford to buy a copy unfurled their paper. Liam inconspicuously glanced at the man’s next to him. The dismal headline meant nothing to most tenant farmers. It meant even less to Liam Weir. He saw it as one less gluttonous banker and they could not die fast enough to suit him.
And greedy cotton ginners can go to hell right along with `em.

Navarro County Herald

<>If I had five cents to spend, I wouldn’t waste it on that rag. They just as well call it the New Yorker! Liam decided he had seen enough of the Navarro County Herald. There was no mention of the drought, not on the front page anyway. When the man beside him turned the page, Liam went back to watching the idle patrons throughout the diner.
From his seat in the rear he could see the entire café and a portion of the adjoining store, the same store he was determined to visit and purchase a decent bill of groceries before the day was up.
<>Liam studied the room; watched as men felt blindly for cups and sopped dry biscuits in air while soaking up the news of investors going broke. All eyes were on Wall Street but truth be told, the market crash paled in comparison to the Navarro county drought.
<>He watched as a billion dust particles danced overhead, swaying recklessly in rays of smoke stained sunshine until the weight of grease and nicotine and worry forced them to settle. The grimy mist settled on everything – on everyone. It covered every field cap and fedora. Without prejudice it landed on burnt necks and white collars alike and no one, other than Liam appeared to notice. He listened to the moans and grunts that followed each turning page. Some lingered on the specifics, others on the gruesome photographs but at the end of breakfast they all shrugged their shoulders and went back to waiting.

Get the rest of the story @ your favorite e-book store.

Paperback available @ Amazon

Thanks Y’all!!

signature0001

Depending on Your Perspective

Saturday I posted a photo of an approaching storm with a caption ending in “y’all forgive me but I love a good storm” and it was a very good storm… or a very bad one depending on your perspective.

After posting that photo we journeyed to my son’s home in adjacent Van Zandt county for a fish-fry and enjoyed the show from the safety of his garage. As lightening danced and crackled over the oak trees we cracked jokes, reminisced and watched crispy fillets float to the surface in vats of boiling oil. We didn’t even mind the loss of electricity; it did not affect us — we were cooking with propane.

Little did we know only miles away lives and livelihoods were being destroyed. As we were laughing ourselves to tears, others wept in fear and sorrow.

We made our way back home [to a dark but undisturbed house] as the radio blasted warnings and tales of catastrophe; declaring several tornadoes had passed through the area(s). It turns out there were seven. Seven tornadoes.

I did not perceive the impact until power was restored several days later and I could get a visual.

It definitely causes one to reflect.

These photos were taken yesterday from [almost] the same position of the one Saturday. The same southern tree line is just above this view.

I still love a good storm but lord my heart does break for all those suffering a loss. I would appreciate it if you all would take a few seconds and send a positive thought or prayer their way.

Mull it Over Monday (A Poem & A Picture)

We are going to mIx iT uP this final week of NMP. Today (Monday) let’s take a look at Poet Dreaming by Loretta Diane Walker and mull it over.

Mull it. Ha! That sounds like a fish or a bad haircut.

Tsk!Tsk! Ignore the clown behind me and clear your mind.

poet dreaming A poem &amp; A Picture

Poet Dreaming

By Loretta Diane Walker

(Originally found at Poetry Breakfast)

No sky could hold so much light.

—Mary Oliver

Poems are nomads paddling through darkness

collecting words from the arms

of Orion, Sagittarius, and Perseus

before camping in a poet’s dream.

She sees souls as colliding galaxies,

holes of light burning

with millions to trillions of stars

too bright to fit in the cavity of sky.

 

Those stars are poems

crammed in the dusty envelopes of mortal bodies,

shimmering beneath white ribbons of bone.

A silhouette of stars floats in the window of her eye.

The energy of need forces tiny hands to brush

against the small wings of a sigh hovering in the evening.

 

She hears the silhouette speak

in a voice the timbre of a piccolo,

“Look Mommy! I caught a butterfly.”

On the other side of her dream, she sees the light of joy,

and a moth beating its powdery gray life

in the basket of a child’s palms.

From In This House published by Blue Light Press.

Now let us ponder…

I was immediately captivated by the first line poems are nomads paddling through darkness. I could literally perceive souls as colliding galaxies and got lost in the poetry until I felt like Loretta Diane Walker pressed me [unwilling] into a mortal body and awakened me to the wonder of a child’s voice. I regret I do not have a better photograph to compliment the imagery of the poem. I even added stars among the fireworks in this picture but it does not suffice… Oh well. In short, Poet Dreaming was a relatable piece and by golly I liked it! As a matter of fact I heard a little bird say I will be getting a copy of In This House for Mother’s Day.

I wrote some poetry once Getting Me Back (The Voices Within)